Craft show and sale to benefit Upward Bound students

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, March 7, 2018

by Wendy Harrison

An annual event that crafters look forward to will have a new spin this year. The Hometown Annual Spring Fling Craft Show, headed up by crafter and local resident Shirley Billups, will benefit the students of the Paul D. Camp Community College Upward Bound program.

“Proceeds from vendor registration fees and raffles, as well as any donations made by the vendors and patrons will all help us offer more for our students,” said Upward Bound Director Travis Parker.

The event will be held at the college’s Regional Workforce Development Center, 100 N. College Drive, Franklin, on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.

Upward Bound students volunteer their time when needed at various college events. Front row from left, arew Tashera Barrett, Ashana Artis, Haleigh Andrew, Errika Lane and MacTayla Joyner, back, Syeria Stephens, Tanasia Nicholson and Alaska Jones.

Upward Bound is a federally funded TRIO program that is focused on assisting low income and/or first generation high school students in grades 9 through 12 with successfully completing postsecondary education. However, the new partnership with the indoor craft event will allow the program to offer additional activities that will help prepare students for college, career and life in general.

“We have a bigger vision for our students,” said Parker. “In addition to academics, we try to expose the students to a wealth of activities, which include financial workshops, cultural experiences, college visits, a summer component and educational seminars.” Students in the program also receive assistance with tutoring, resources, support, college processes and the PDCCC dual enrollment program.

The Upward Bound program has been extremely successful since its implementation in 2009. According to Parker, 63 high school students currently participate in the program, and another 55 past participants are currently enrolled full time in college. “We are very proud of our students,” noted Parker. “Thirty-five participants have completed an associates degree, 20 have earned a bachelor’s degree, and two have attained a master’s degree—all in less than nine years of the program’s inception. That’s pretty significant.”

Parker said he is grateful that Administrative Assistant Barbara Strylowski and Shirley Billups connected about this partnership.

“We all three met and decided this would be nothing short of a win-win for both parties,” said Parker. “Ms. Billups has had much success in the past with this event. We would like to set a goal of $4,000 for proceeds total. We anticipate about 50 vendors, but time is running out to secure a booth.”

For more information about the PDCCC Upward Bound Program, contact Strylowski at or 569-6764. Vendors interested in registering for a 10-foot by 10-foot booth space may contact Billups at 620-5499.

WENDY HARRISON is the public relations specialist for Paul D. Camp Community College. She can be reached at